DUET Group shares rise after shareholders approve Li Ka-shing takeover bid

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Stock in DUET Group rose as much as 1.6 per cent in morning trade after shareholders at three of Li Ka-shing’s companies approved a joint bid of A$7.37bn ($5.57bn) for the Australian energy network operator.

Filings made by Cheung Kong Infrastructure Holdings (CKI), Cheung Kong Property Holdings (CKP) and Power Assets Holdings to the Hong Kong Stock Exchange on Tuesday evening showed Mr Li easily securing approval for the unsolicited offer first put forward in December.

Shares in DUET were up 1.3 per cent in mid-morning trade in Sydney. The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index was down 0.4 per cent.

While Mr Li’s bid was accepted by DUET’s board on January 16, it still requires approval from Australian regulators, and investors were unnerved later that month by the announcement of a new Critical Infrastructure Centre. The government initiative is intended to assess whether any privatisation or sale to overseas investors could raise national security concerns.

Even so, investors remain bullish on the deal’s chances: shares in the grid operator are still up 23.4 per cent since the consortium of companies first announced the bid.

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